Monday, December 18, 2017
Politics

PolitiFact: Obama's outsourcing on green energy is half true

The statement

The Obama administration "has been outsourcing" by sending money to "solar and wind energy companies that end up making their products outside the United States."

Mitt Romney, in comments at a town hall meeting

The ruling

Mitt Romney is turning the tables on President Barack Obama, calling him the "outsourcer-in-chief" and highlighting foreign spending from the economic stimulus.

At a town hall meeting in Colorado, Romney said Obama "has been outsourcing a good deal of American jobs himself by putting money into energy companies, solar and wind energy companies that end up making their products outside the United States."

The Romney campaign backed up the claim by citing a report from the Investigative Reporting Workshop that found about 65 percent of the wind turbines on stimulus-funded projects came from foreign manufacturers.

PolitiFact has examined a number of claims about stimulus dollars going overseas, especially in the area of alternative energy. We have found an element of truth to these statements but that generally the numbers are exaggerated. Critics of the stimulus have tallied government loans, grants and tax credits going to a foreign firm but they often ignore that most of the money goes to domestic subsidiaries, and most of the work takes place on U.S. soil. In this case, though, Romney is less specific — and more accurate.

Indeed, many foreign companies benefited from American tax credits and Energy Department grants, and those programs created some jobs in foreign countries. A study by the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that anywhere from 30 percent to 70 percent of wind power spending goes overseas. Another federal study put the number at about 40 percent.

But that's because many components for wind turbines are not manufactured in the United States.

Overall, when the federal government supports the use of wind and solar power, it is virtually certain that some if not most of the materials will come from overseas. That is more true for solar than it is for wind.

So while there is some truth to Romney's statement — because stimulus dollars did go to foreign companies — it is inaccurate to call it "outsourcing" because there is not a source domestically.

We rate the claim Half True.

This ruling has been edited for print. Read the full version at PolitiFact.com.

Comments
National security strategy plan paints China, Russia as U.S. competitors

National security strategy plan paints China, Russia as U.S. competitors

WASHINGTON — A new U.S. national security strategy plan presents China and Russia as competitors that want to realign global power in their interests, potentially threatening the United States, Trump administration officials said Sunday.President Don...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Trump says he isn’t considering firing Mueller

Trump says he isn’t considering firing Mueller

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Sunday that he is not considering firing special counsel Robert Mueller even as his administration was again forced to grapple with the growing Russia inquiry that has shadowed the White House for much of his ...
Published: 12/17/17
Trump defends tax plan, proclaims economy set ‘to rock’

Trump defends tax plan, proclaims economy set ‘to rock’

WASHINGTON — Closing in on the first major legislative achievement of his term, President Donald Trump on Saturday defended the Republican tax cut as a good deal for the middle class while boldly suggesting it could lead to explosive economic growth....
Published: 12/16/17
Romano: Some bullies survive beyond the schoolyard

Romano: Some bullies survive beyond the schoolyard

Sometime soon, members of the Florida House will be asked to consider a solution for bullying in public schools. It’s a dubious idea based on the premise that students should flee their tormenters, and use voucher funds to attend a private school of ...
Published: 12/16/17
CDC gets list of forbidden words: ‘fetus,’ ‘transgender,’ ‘evidence-based’

CDC gets list of forbidden words: ‘fetus,’ ‘transgender,’ ‘evidence-based’

Trump administration officials are forbidding officials at the nation’s top public health agency from using a list of seven words or phrases - including "fetus" and "transgender" - in any official documents being prepared for next year’s budget.Polic...
Published: 12/16/17
Female congressional candidate leaves race after sexual harassment allegations resurface

Female congressional candidate leaves race after sexual harassment allegations resurface

A Democratic candidate hoping to flip a hotly contested congressional seat in Kansas has dropped out of the race after allegations that she sexually harassed a male subordinate resurfaced amid her campaign.Andrea Ramsey, 57, who was running to unseat...
Published: 12/16/17
Highlights of GOP compromise bill to overhaul tax code

Highlights of GOP compromise bill to overhaul tax code

WASHINGTON — Republicans in Congress have blended separate tax bills passed by the House and Senate into compromise legislation that seeks to achieve a sweeping overhaul of the nation’s tax code. GOP leaders are looking toward passage of the final pa...
Published: 12/15/17
Updated: 12/16/17
With Rubio, Corker back on board, GOP speeds ahead with tax plan

With Rubio, Corker back on board, GOP speeds ahead with tax plan

WASHINGTON — Republican lawmakers on Friday secured enough votes to pass the most sweeping tax overhaul in decades, putting them on the cusp of their first significant legislative victory this year as party leaders geared up to pass a $1.5 trillion t...
Published: 12/15/17
Experts chart path for Hillsborough to grow smarter before sprawl takes over

Experts chart path for Hillsborough to grow smarter before sprawl takes over

TAMPA — Nearly 600,000 more people will live in Hillsborough County by 2040, and if elected officials and county planners don’t take bold steps now, the population boom will turn the county into the soulless sprawl of Anywhere, U.S.A.That’s the messa...
Published: 12/15/17
Tillerson retreats on offer of unconditional N. Korea talks

Tillerson retreats on offer of unconditional N. Korea talks

WASHINGTON — America’s top diplomat stepped back Friday from his offer of unconditional talks with North Korea, telling world powers that the nuclear-armed nation must earn the right to negotiate with the United States. Secretary of State Rex Tillers...
Published: 12/15/17